Michigan Laborers Statement on Biden Endorsement

After discussions with our leaders and conducting a poll of our members, the General Executive Board of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) endorsed Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris for President and Vice President of the United States of America.

The Michigan Laborers are willing to work with and support any elected official or candidate for office that respects the hard work that our members do every day. Through our political work, we have created many beneficial relationships with elected officials on both sides that have resulted in jobs for our members in Michigan. For example, the Michigan Laborers will likely endorse 45 Democrats and 28 Republicans for the Michigan State House of Representatives.

We work to build pro-laborer majorities, not partisan majorities.

We respect our members’ voices and encourage them to use their voice at the ballot box for the candidates they feel best represent their interests and values. In this presidential election, we feel Joe Biden best represents our union values.

With that said, we do want to address many of the topics that matter to our members.

  • American Values and Sacrifice:
    • Like all LiUNA members, Joe Biden understands that dignity of work and sacrifice are fundamental building blocks of the American way of life. He’s dedicated his entire life to the betterment of this nation and to the health of his family. In his early twenties, Biden’s life was turned upside down with the loss of his wife and young daughter in a car accident. In order to keep his family together after this loss, Biden never moved to DC after his election to the Senate. He instead took the long train ride home to his family every night. Joe’s son Beau saw his father’s example of public service and enrolled in the military. Beau proudly served a tour in Iraq and won a Bronze Star for his merit. These life events have influenced and will continue to affect how Joe Biden views the nation’s priorities. Unlike Donald Trump, Joe Biden supports military families, because Joe Biden is part of a military family. Joe Biden understands what struggle is like for the American middle-class, because he’s never removed himself from them. Riding on the train home after a long day of work, Michigan Laborers surrounded by other hard-working Americans, listening to what they are going through at home. This is Joe Biden, he’s ready to lead and shares our struggles.
  • Davis-Bacon Standards
    • Members of the Trump administration have proposed changing Davis-Bacon from a survey of wages to standard rates of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Simply put, they want to cut your paycheck in half! This WILL happen if Trump is re-elected. All Trump has to do is sign an executive order to make it happen. Biden believes that taxpayer dollars should always be used to build the middle class, not to foster wage-cutting competition among employers in the construction industry. As Vice President, Biden made sure that Davis-Bacon Act standards were strictly enforced. As president, Biden swears to build on this success by ensuring that every federal investment in infrastructure and transportation projects is covered by prevailing wage protections.
  • Economy
    • The hard work and long hours of our dedicated members has always been the foundation for a strong American economy. The strength of our economy is directly tied to the strength of our members and we need leadership which does not take the contributions of working people for granted. We can count on Joe Biden to rebuild and restore our economy with policies that also strengthen our Union, including infrastructure investment, prevailing wages and collective bargaining, pension, protecting federal and public sector workers, strengthening the U.S. Postal Service, and a comprehensive energy policy. Healthcare Joe Biden does not support single payer healthcare. He opposes a “Medicare for All” system. As president, Biden will protect our Healthcare and he has a plan to build on it by giving Americans more choice, reducing healthcare costs, and making our system less complex to navigate. Simply put, this means our members would retain the superior health insurance they currently receive under the Michigan Laborers’ Health Care Plan.
  • Energy Jobs
    • Joe Biden has showcased an aggressive $2 trillion plan for building a modern national infrastructure that creates millions of local jobs. This will require massive coordination, hard work, and planning. Laborers know very well that massive projects don’t get off the ground without hundreds of workers lifting. If we want the energy future our state and country needs, we need a person like Joe Biden to work hard and make it happen. Biden’s plan sets out to create millions of Union jobs as the United States of America updates its roads, bridges, auto industry, and broadband system. Biden supports fracking as well as investing in the next generation of nuclear reactors.
  • Appointments
    • The office of the President can have a huge influence on Americans’ daily lives through appointments of agency heads. The current appointee to the National Labor Relations Board, Peter Robb, has used his position to promote corporate interests, limit collective bargaining rights, and comically pursue a federal court order outlawing giant inflatable rats at non-union job sites as illegal protest activity. Most other current appointees have seen similar criticism of destabilizing the agencies they are meant to be running. US Department of Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, has attempted to take away funding from public schools to fund private schools at taxpayers’ expense. Joe Biden can be trusted to appoint Cabinet members who reflect and represent the people they’re sworn to serve, not union busting, former corporate lobbyists advancing their special interests.
  • Union dues do not go to candidates
    • None of your local union dues go to candidates. Michigan Laborers engage through organizing and educating elected officials about our priorities, and voluntarily donating directly to candidates and causes. We support candidates on both sides that support our members.

Again, we work to build pro-laborer majorities, not partisan majorities.

For a PDF copy of this release please click here.